About three weeks ago I started an experiment: I imagined investing 100b isk in items which I predicted would increase in price over the next four months. My goal was to see if I could make a profit with very conservative assumptions, buying from sell orders and (attempting to) sell largely to buy orders (or, at least, taking the average of the buy/sell order prices during the period I would sell the stock). This is my first update on the progress of this little experiment. As it turns out, I did actually make some of the investments, and I explain how those have panned out along with what I would have done with the rest of the stock thus far.
tl;dr - so far I'm up to 5.69b profit with no "mulligans" (i.e., I calculated my profits according to when I actually would have sold / started selling the items, instead of simply calculating the profits by the highest buy or sell order price since July 12th). Considering how little time I've spent on this project (e.g., I didn't even start checking most of these prices again until Crius, and then only occasionally) I'd say this is a success thus far.
Category 1: Moon harvesting arrays.
Estimated profit: 400m
Between July 20-27th MHAs spiked in Jita from 20m to a high of around 34m. Whether from market manipulation or an actual increase of use, I began selling them off as soon as the prices hit 25m. I did (actually) sell a few MHAs I had (actually) bought at 30m isk, but I will assume here that I would have managed to sell all 100 of my stock for an average of 24m. That makes for a modest profit of 400m and I didn't even have to ship them out to sell at local trade hubs like I thought I might have to do.
Category 2: Logistics.
Estimated profit (guardian, oneiros, scimitar): 1.3b
Some of the logistics ships were coming down from a spike when I invested in them. Since the beginning of July, besides the basilisk, logistics ships have slowly been increasing in price, and on August 3rd I decided to cash out. Guardians were up to 170m in sell orders with a few buy orders for around 164m, so I estimated that I could liquidate my stock of 20 for an average of 165m. I bought 10 scimitars for 146m and now they were up to 169m in sell orders, 161m in buy orders. I estimate I could liquidate the 10 through sell orders at an average of 168m. The oneiros has especially jumped in price, from 150m when I bought 10 to between 200m and 220m in sell orders at the beginning of August. Buy orders on the 3rd were at around 181m, so I estimate I could liquidate my small stock for an average of 190m.
Category 3: Recon Ships.
Estimated profit (falcon, rook): 1.17b
All recon prices spiked after Crius. I could have sold at least some of my stock in sell orders during this price and made 10-20% profit. However, I felt this was jumping the gun on most of the recon ships given that the rebalanaces have not even been announced yet, and given that my goal is to make profit by selling to buy orders, ideally, even if when I do these investments for real I will likely sell most of my items through sell orders (obviously?). So, I only cashed out on two recons:
I invested in 30 falcons at 168m. Buy orders jumped to 185m by the end of July and sell orders were around 195m, so I estimate modestly that I could liquidate the stock at an average of 188m each. Sell orders and, briefly, buy orders, for rooks spiked as well, though far less rooks move each day. I picked up 30 for 126m, with sell orders around 160m by the end of July and beginning of August. I would have slowly cashed out over this period likely starting when sell orders hit 135m so I estimate that I could have sold them for an average of 145m. For the rest of the recons, I want to wait for the rebalance announcements at this point, which I expect is the next time they will spike in price. Hopefully I haven't been too conservative here!
Category 4: Limited edition items.
Estimated profit (leopard): 1.27b
First of all, shortly after I did my July 12th “investments” some people started manipulating the price of leopards. At one point roughly around the time Crius hit, nearly all of the stock of leopards were bought up in Jita. Sell orders peaked at 99m and have slowly been going down, hitting the low 70m spot currently. I picked up 75 leopards for (again, always rounding up) 63m before this spike. Fortunately for me, leopards were one of the items I actually did (for real) invest in at this point, though not as many as 75 (closer to 40). I sold my stock at an average of 85m, and estimate I could have sold 35 more at 80m, so I am going to make a safe bet and say I could have liquidated my 75 leopards at an average of 80m, so a profit of 1.27b. Geckos, on the other hand, have dropped a bit. I am a bit worried about this investment. I am predicting geckos will spike right before—or during—the alliance tournament. Both genolution implants have continued to slowly increase in price. I could begin selling them off for a profit, but I am going to wait out the trend longer as unless players directly manipulate the price by selling off large stocks, these implants should continue to rise in price over the next few months.
Category 4: PLEX
I picked up 32 PLEX for 795m a piece. Prices spiked to 820m or so and have since dropped to 785m as of August 3rd. So thus far, unless I would be willing to ship these PLEX to other regional markets and sell them for higher prices there (something I know some other, crazier traders do!) I don't have any option besides sitting on the stock. Realistically, if I did make this investment, I would be PLEXing my accounts in advance and so I wouldn't count this investment as a “loss” but as needed assets.
Category 5: Nestors
What I knew was a terrible decision, fueled only by irrational expectations that the nestor would soon be improved, the nester has dropped by 100m since I picked up 3. This is the purchase I was least likely to make in the beginning, and most included them out of curiosity at how their market would develop.I guess my pretend nestor investment is a placeholder for bad decisions I will inevitably make in the future when investing.
Category 6: Bombers
I made a small investment in bombers. Since July 12th their price has increased by a small 6-10%. I am holding out for slightly higher prices.
Category 7: Strategic Cruisers
Estimated profit (all): 1.54b
Finally, strategic cruisers. It turns out this was another set of items I actually did purchase around July 12 (though not in the same numbers as on my experiment's chart), and I've since sold my stock for a decent profit. 15 legions at 127m easily sold at 164m. 15 tengus at 134m sold for an average of 155m (underestimating a bit I think). 15 proteuses at 134m were selling for as high as 180m, but overall I estimate I could have sold 15 total for an average of 165m very quickly. 15 loki at 127m sold at least at 142m a piece. Total, I made a fairly quick 1.54b on strategic cruisers.
Current totals: So far in my experiment I am less than a month in and I've turned a fairly quick 5.69b profit. I didn't even start checking the prices on most of these items until after Crius, and, as explained, I would have sold most of the stock thus far to buy orders, reducing my investment of time. Of some the items I did actually invest in—a few MHAs, a few leopards, and some strategic cruisers—I've made a decent profit. Crius has had a much bigger impact on the prices of tech 2 and 3 goods than I expected, which is actually a positive sign for my experiment since most of my investments were long term. Most of the investments were made from predictions about how the market will react to future rebalanaces—recon ships in particular—as well as long term trends of limited stock items. Since my goal is to have all stock sold by December, I still have over three months left in my experiment to turn a profit on the remaining items. As is probably painfully obvious to experienced traders etc., in this experiment and in my regular trading, I am learning that the more isk you have, the easier it is to make more and with it with less of a time commitment.